13.07.2015 Views

Download the survey brief (PDF) - Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Download the survey brief (PDF) - Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Download the survey brief (PDF) - Chicago Council on Global Affairs

SHOW MORE
SHOW LESS

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

Perceptions of wheong>theong>r unauthorized immigration is increasing, decreasing, or staying ong>theong> samealso influence oong>theong>r views about Mexicans living in ong>theong> United States. Those who think illegalimmigration has increased over ong>theong> past year are less likely to say that Mexican immigrants to ong>theong>United States learn English, respect ong>theong> law, and integrate into American life. Mexicans in ong>theong> UnitedStates are, however, viewed as working hard, regardless of ong>theong> perceptions of unauthorizedimmigration.Overall, almost nine in ten Americans say that most Mexican immigrants to ong>theong> United States workhard (87%, up from 82% in 2004), and more say that most Mexican immigrants respect ong>theong> lawthan not (53% versus 43%). But Americans are evenly divided on wheong>theong>r most Mexicanimmigrants integrate into American life (48% yes, 48% no), and a majority continues to say thatmost Mexican immigrants do not learn English (57% versus 39% yes) (Figure 5).Figure 5. Do you think most Mexican immigrantsto ong>theong> United States: (%)NoYesWork hard1087Integrate into American lifeRespect ong>theong> lawLearn English574843394853Learning English is a significant issue for many Americans. Results from ong>theong> 2012 ong>Chicagoong> ong>Councilong>Midwestern immigration ong>surveyong> found that when Midwesterners were presented with a series ofcriteria and asked which were most important in selecting immigrants to ong>theong> United States,speaking English was considered most important (55% “very important”), more so than not usingsocial benefits (42% “very important”), having skills needed in our country (41% “very important”),filling jobs for which ong>theong>re are not enough able and willing Americans (24% “very important”), andhaving a higher education (23% “very important”). At ong>theong> same time, coming from a culturalbackground “similar to ours” is ong>theong> least important (only 10% “very important”). This may suggestthat Midwesterners are less threatened by immigrants’ impact on American culture and are moreconcerned about immigrants integrating into ong>theong>ir new home.Partisan Differences in Public Attitudes toward Mexicans in ong>theong> United States Are StarkThese results also suggest that Republican opposition to immigration reform may rest upon ong>theong>irconstituents’ negative views of Mexican immigrants. Self-described Republicans are more negativetoward Mexicans living in ong>theong> United States than oong>theong>r groups of immigrants (e.g., Brazilian orChinese immigrants) or towards Mexicans who live in Mexico (Figure 6). In addition, ong>theong>y are muchless positive in rating Mexican immigrants on various attributes such as learning English,respecting ong>theong> law, and integrating into American life (Figure 7).5


Figure 6. Views of people (% favorable)Republicans Democrats IndependentsChinese immigrants in ong>theong> USBrazilian immigrants in ong>theong> USMexican immigrants in ong>theong> USMexicans living in Mexico386363597269697874798285Figure 7. Do you think most Mexican immigrantsto ong>theong> United States... (% yes)Republicans Democrats IndependentsLearn English234253Respect ong>theong> law455365Integrate into American life404861Work hard888695At ong>theong> Same Time, Perceived Threat from Illegal Immigration at a Record LowWhile Americans overestimate ong>theong> number of undocumented immigrants living in ong>theong> UnitedStates, ong>theong>y are actually less threatened by illegal immigration now than at any point since 1994.The 2012 biennial ong>Chicagoong> ong>Councilong> Survey conducted nationwide showed that for ong>theong> first time inong>Chicagoong> ong>Councilong> Survey history, only a minority (40%) of Americans considered immigration acritical threat to ong>theong> United States. Public perceptions of immigration as a critical threat declined astaggering 32 points over ong>theong> course of eighteen years (Figure 8).6


Figure 8. Large numbers of immigrants and refugeescoming into ong>theong> country (% critical threat)72556052 51 51 51401994 1998 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012ConclusionThese ong>surveyong> results show that Americans may be more open to immigration reform now than inong>theong> past 18 years in ong>theong> sense that anxiety over undocumented immigrants in ong>theong> United States hasfallen sharply over that period and more now than nearly 10 years ago believe ong>theong> United States,raong>theong>r than Mexico, should take ong>theong> lead in dealing with illegal immigration.Despite ong>theong> finding that half ong>theong> public thinks undocumented immigration flows have increased inong>theong> past year, a majority favor a reform option that would allow undocumented workers to stay inong>theong> United States eiong>theong>r temporarily (with a work permit) or permanently (with a pathway tocitizenship under certain conditions). An analysis of ong>theong> poll numbers shows that public educationefforts to inform Americans about ong>theong> real trend in net-zero illegal inflows into ong>theong> United Statescould help raise public support for immigration reform.For more analysis of public opinion on international affairs and foreign policy, follow ong>theong> RunningNumbers blog (www.runningnumbers.org) featuring ong>Chicagoong> ong>Councilong> and oong>theong>r ong>surveyong>s.For more information, please contact ong>theong> authors of this report, Dina Smeltz, senior fellow, publicopinion and foreign policy (dsmeltz@ong>theong>chicagocouncil.org; 312.821.6860), or Craig Kafura, seniorprogram officer, (ckafura@ong>theong>chicagocouncil.org; 312.821.7650). Research assistance was alsoprovided by Gregory Holyk of Langer Research.This ong>surveyong> was made possible by generous support from Douglas A. Doetsch, Evans Food Group,Ltd., Rob and Kitty Lansing, Clare Muñana, and The Quaker Oats Company, a division of PepsiCo.MethodologyThis report is based on ong>theong> results of a ong>Chicagoong> ong>Councilong> ong>surveyong> of public opinion conducted fromApril 12 to 15, 2013. GfK Custom Research conducted ong>theong> ong>surveyong> for The ong>Chicagoong> ong>Councilong> using arandomly selected sample of 1,017 adults age 18 and older from ong>theong>ir large-scale, nationwideonline research panel, recruited using address-based sampling. The margin of error for this ong>surveyong>is ±3.1 percentage points. The margin of error is higher when analyses are conducted amongsubgroups.7

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!